LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT
 

INTRODUCTION

THE LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT IN THE DISTRICT is conducted by various statutory bodies such as municipalities including Nagpur Municipal Corporation, Village Panchayats and the Zilla Parishad enjoying local autonomy in different degrees. The progress of these institutions could be marked in three spheres. Firstly, in regard to their constitution, from fully or partly nominated bodies, they have now become entirely elective. Secondly, their franchise had gone on widening from restricted franchise based on income to adult franchise. With the enactment of the Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities (Bombay Amendment) Act. 1957 (Bombay Act XVI of 1958) every person who (A) is a citizen of India, (B) has attained the age of 21 years and (C) has requisite residence, business premises or taxation qualification is now entitled to be enrolled as a voter. Prior to 1950 reservation of seats for women, Muhammedans, Harijans, Christians. Anglo-Indians and backward tribes had been provided for in the municipalities. It has been abolished with coming into force of the Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities (Bombay Amendment) Act, 1957 except in case of women and scheduled castes. Thirdly, wider and wider powers have gradually been conferred upon the local bodies culminating in the Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 for the administration of the areas under their charge. This has resulted in the participation of the people in the Local Government creating facilities for training to shoulder higher responsibilities.

The supervision over the local bodies in Nagpur Division is conducted by the Divisional Commissioner. Nagpur Division, Nagpur. He exercises control over the local bodies under the Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities Act, 1922; the Madhya Pradesh Local Fund Audit Act, 1933; the Madhya Pradesh Public Health Act, 1949; the City of Nagpur Corporation Act, 1948; the Cattle Trespass Act, 1871; "the Central Provinces and Berar Primary Education Act, 1920 ; the Central Provinces and Berar Town Planning Act, 1948; the Central Provinces and Berar Grant-in-aid to Local Bodies Act, 1939; the Hackney Carriage Act, 1879; the Vaccination Act, 1880: the Municipal Taxation Act, 1881; the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1890; the Local Authorities Loans Act, 1914; the Central Provinces Slaughter of Animals Act, 1915 and the Provident Funds Act, 1925.

 
 
MUNICIPALITIES
 
 

The total area under the administration of the municipalities in the district in 1961 was 287.366 km2. (110.91 sq. miles) with a population of 7,81,448 according to the 1961 census.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation was constituted by combining the Nagpur municipality and the civil station subcommittee under the City of Nagpur Corporation Act, 1948. The Mohpa Gram Panchayat was converted into a municipality in 1955(Vide notification No. 1482-7825-M-B, dated the 23rdMarch, 1955.). The only cantonment in the district (the Kamptee Cantonment) is governed under the Cantonment Act of 1924.

The municipalities at Kamptee, Mohpa, Saoner, Katol, Umrer, Ramtek, Khapa, Narkhed, Kalmeshwar and Mowar are governed under the Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities Act, 1922.

The following table gives the names of municipalities in the district along with the number of councillors, reserved seats, etc.: —

Municipality

(1)

Population 1961 Census
(2)
Area in km2
(3)
Number of wards
(4)
Total (5)
Number of Councillors
Reserved for women
(6)
Reserved for scheduled castes
(7)
Reserved for scheduled tribes
(8)
Unreserved
(9)
Nominated
(10)
1.
Nagpur Municipal Corporation
6,43,186
217.56
(84.00)
42
57
..
..
..
..
..
2.
Kamptee
40,464
5.18 (2.00)
20
23
2
4
..
17
..
3.
Ramtek
11,758
10.36 (4.00)
8
10
1
1
..
8
..
4.
Saoner
10,186
9.07 (3.50)
11
13
1
1
..
11
..
5.
Katol
14,581
10.36 (4.00)
13
16
2
1
..
13
..
6.
Umrer
22,682
2.59 (1.00)
15
18
1
2
..
15
..
7.
Kalmeshwar
6,725
3.65 (1.41)
10
12
1
1
..
10
..
8.
Mohpa
5,647
5.18 (2.00)
9
10
1
..
..
9
..
9.
Narkhed
10,442
7.77 (3.00)
11
13
1
1
..
11
..
10.
Mowar
5,841
12.95
(5.00)
10
12
1
1
..
10
..
11.
Khapa
9,536
2.59 (1.00)
2
14
1
1
..
12
..

Figures in the brackets denote area in sq. miles.

 

The term of office of the members of a municipality is five years. According to the Act, every municipality has to be presided (Section 8 of the Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities Act, 1922.) over by a President elected by the councillors from amongst themselves. The result of the election is to be notified in the official Gazette by the Collector (Section 20.). Each municipality will have a Vice-President who shall be appointed by the President from amongst the members of the Committee under Subsection (2) of Section 18 of the Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities Act, 1922 which will also be notified in the official Gazette by the Collector.

The President as the head of the municipality has to—

(a)preside over the meetings of the municipality,
(b)watch over the financial and executive functions as may be performed by the municipality and
(c) exercise supervision and control over the acts and proceedings of all officers and servants of the municipality.

Every municipality has to constitute a finance sub-committee. Constitution of other executive or consultative committees is optional. The Act stipulates obligatory and optional duties, the municipality has to perform. In addition to the duties stipulated under the Central Provinces and Berar Municipalities Act or any other enactments the municipality has to undertake and make provision for lighting public streets, places and buildings, cleaning public streets and places and sewers and all such sites which are not private property and which are open to the public whether such places vest in the municipality or not. The municipality has also to undertake removal of noxious vegetation and to abate public nuisances. The municipality has the responsibility of disposing of night-soil and rubbish, extinguishing fires and protecting life and property when fires occur, regulating or abating offensive or dangerous trade or practices, removing obstruction and projection in public streets or places, establishing and managing pounds including the areas where the Cattle Trespass Act, 1871 is in operation (all functions of the State Government and the Magistrate under Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, (4, 17 and 18 of the Act), securing or removing dangerous buildings and sites; acquiring, maintaining and regulating places for the disposal of dead bodies, constructing and maintaining public streets and culverts in municipal areas, providing other facilities such as markets, slaughter-houses, etc, providing adequate and clean drinking water, naming streets and registering births, and deaths, carrying out public vaccination, establishing and maintaining primary schools, taking necessary measures for prevention of outbreak, spread and recurrence of infectious diseases, carrying out annually census of agricultural cattle etc. A municipality may at its discretion provide out of its funds for the following among other works with previous sanction and approval of the State Government: —

(a) Reclaiming unhealthy localities, laying out whether in areas previously built upon or not, new public streets, and acquiring land for the purpose;
(b) constructing, establishing and maintaining public parks, gardens, libraries, museums, public halls, offices, sarais, rest- houses, hospitals, dispensaries and other public buildings ;
(c) extending educational activities besides establishment and maintenance of primary schools;
(d) watering public streets and places;
(e) planting and maintaining trees along the road side;
(f) carrying out the census;
(g) destroying stray dogs;
(h) securing or helping to secure suitable places for the carrying on of the offensive trades mentioned in Section 133;
(i) providing piped water-supply to the citizens;
(j) maintaining a farm or factory for the disposal of sewage;
(k) constructing and maintaining such roads, buildings, and Government works as (he Government may in accordance with rules made under the Act transfer to the Committee and
(l) taking any measure not specified in Section 50 of the Act which is likely to promote public health, safety or convenience.

The municipality is authorised to levy house tax on annual letting value of the houses; tax on any profession, trade or calling carried on in municipal limits; a tax on vehicles plying in the municipal areas and on domestic animals; a toll on animals entering municipal limits to be maintained as domestic pet animal's; an octroi on animals and goods brought within the municipal limits for sale, consumption or use ; market dues on persons exposing goods for sale in any market or place under the control of the municipality; fees on registration of cattle sold within municipal limits; latrine or conservancy tax, water-rate, lighting rate or drainage rate if such facilities are provided for by the municipality and a tax on persons travelling by railway to or from a municipality to which pilgrims resort or on pilgrims.

The State Government may by rules made under this Act, regulate imposition of taxes and fix maximum rate for any tax. Any tax that a municipality has to impose for the first time can be imposed only after the prior sanction of the Government. The municipality has also to take previous sanction of the Government for abolition of any tax specified in sub-section (1), clauses (X), (O), (P) or any variation in the amount of rates thereof.

The State Government may raise objections to the levy of any particular tax which appears to it to be unfair in its incidence or obnoxious to the interest of the general public and suspend the levy of it until such time as the objections are removed. The State Government may require a municipality to impose taxes when it appears to it that the balance of the municipal fund is insufficient for meeting any cost incurred by any person acting under the directions of the Collector or of the Commissioner.

The rates at which taxes are levied by municipalities do not enable them to meet all their expenditure. Their incomes have to be supplemented by numerous Government grants, both recurring and non-recurring. For instance, grants are made by Government to municipalities towards water-supply and drainage schemes, expenditure on controlling epidemics, payment of dearness allowance to staff, etc. These grants add substantially to the municipal income.

Control over the municipalities is exercised by the Collector, Nagpur District, Nagpur; the Commissioner, Nagpur Division, Nagpur and the State Government. The Collector has powers of entry and inspection in regard to any immovable property occupied by a municipality or any work in progress under it. He may also, call for extracts from the proceedings of a meeting of the municipality or for any books or documents in its possession or under its control. He may also require a municipality to take into consideration any objection he has to any of its acts or any action on its part. These powers can be delegated by the Collector to the Assistant or Deputy Collector (Sub-Divisional Officers) in the district.

The Collector has powers to order a municipality to prohibit, pending the orders of the State Government, the execution of any of its order or resolution if, in his opinion, it is likely to cause injury or annoyance to the public or to lead to a breach of peace or is unlawful. In cases of emergency, the Government may provide for the execution of any works or the doing of any act which a municipality is empowered to execute or to do and the immediate execution or doing of which is necessary for the health or safety of the public, and may direct that the expenses shall be paid forthwith by the municipality.

On the recommendations of a municipality the Commissioner can remove any councillor guilty of misconduct in the discharge of his duties.

When satisfied that a municipality has made a default in performing any statutory duty imposed on it, the State Government may direct the Divisional Commissioner to fix a period for the performance of that duty, and if the particular duty is not performed within the period stipulated, the Commissioner may appoint some person to perform it and direct that the expenses shall be forthwith paid by the municipality. If the State Government is of the view that any municipality is not competent to perform or persistently makes default in the per formance of its duties or exceeds or abuses its powers, it may either dissolve the municipality or supersede it for a specific period. The president or vice-president of a municipality may be removed by the State Government for misconduct or for negligence or incapability in regard to the performance of their duties.

The audit of all local fund accounts is provided for by the Local Fund Audit Act, 1933. The Divisional Commissioner, on receipt of the Report of the Examiner of Local Fund Accounts, may disallow any item of expenditure which appears to him to be contrary to law and surcharge the same on the person making or authorising the making of the illegal payment.

 
 
ZILLA PARISHAD
 

Historical Background

Like the Greek City States, the villages in ancient India had always been autonomous units. The characteristic feature of administration in ancient India was the prevalence of freedom and autonomy in governing the village institutions. However, the villages lost their autonomy as more power came to be vested and concentrated in the sovereign kings.

During the British Administration, some attempts were made to revive the Local Self-Government institutions in India with a view to training the people in the administration of such institutions by giving them representations in such local bodies. As a result, municipalities, district school boards and janpadsabhas came to be established, subsequently. Village panchayats also came to be founded and as a result of this it was possible for British Government to regenerate confidence among the masses inhabiting the rural areas.

Vidarbha organised its gram panchayats and nyaya panchayats in 1946. while in Marathwada region the village panchayats started functioning in every village with a population of 5,000 and above in 1941. After the reorganisation of the erstwhile State of Bombay, the Village Panchayats Act was passed in 1958, for the whole State. This Act envisaged a Village Panchayat Mandal for every district. Not only this but gat-nyaya panchayats came to be organised for groups of five or more village panchayats.

In course of time, the experience gained indicated that the progress of rural development was not commensurate with the expectations of the Government. Various development activities introduced in the various Plan periods could not achieve a commendable amount of success owing to non-participation of the villagers in the implementation of such developmental schemes. The Central Government came to the conclusion that it was necessary for the Government to investigate the causes behind such a state of affairs. It therefore appointed a committee called the ' Balwantrai Mehta Committee'.

The ‘Balwantrai Mehta Committee’ pointed out mainly, among other findings, That the Government could not succeed in appealing and attracting the leadership of the masses to participate in the Community Development and National Developmental Schemes. Institutions of the type of the Local Self-Government had not taken any deep interest to participate in such developmental schemes and had not shown any initiative for such work. The part played by the village panchayats in such works was also not very encouraging. There was very often interference from the Government in the affairs of the working of the Local Boards. The Committee came to the conclusion that the urgent necessity of the day, to remedy this state of affairs, was the decentralisation of power and responsibility at the lower level. The Committee, therefore, suggested that the responsibility for such regional and local development work should be assigned to such local institutions at the district level with the Government accepting the role of guiding, supervising and planning from a higher level, making available the required finances and so on.

The ‘Bahvantrai Mehta Committee’ recommended the formation of Local Committees on par with Block Development Committees, to be named as Panchayat Samitis, and at the district level a District Committee to be called ' Zilla Parishad', instead of the Local Boards, etc., in order to secure integration in the various developmental activities. Thus, the Gram Panchayat, the Panchayat Samiti and the Zilla Parishad are the three responsible functionaries in the decentralisation of administration, which are entrusted with the implementation of the Developmental Schemes.

Thus, an Act, to provide for the establishment of Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis, to assign to them local Government functions, and to entrust the execution of certain works and development schemes in the State Five-Year Plans and to provide for the decentralisation of powers and functions under certain enactments was passed in 1961, known as the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961.

Under the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961, the following departments of the State operating in the district have been transferred to the Zilla Parishad: —

(1) General Administration Department.
(2) Local Self-Government, excluding municipalities and municipal boroughs.
(3) Developmental Departments: Agriculture, Veterinary, Forests, Co-operation including Industrial Co-operatives and Village Industries, Industries, Public Works.
(4) Welfare Departments: Education (excluding training colleges and higher education), Technical and Industrial Training. Medical, Public Health, Labour, Prohibition and Excise, Backward Classes, Community Projects and National Extension Service, Social Welfare.
(5) Miscellaneous Departments: Administration of Managed Estates.

Before the Zilla Parishad came into existence, Local Self- Government in the district was working at district, taluka and village level. It was conducted by various statutory bodies, enjoying local autonomy in different degrees. The progress of these institutions was in three spheres. Firstly, in regard to their constitutions, from fully or partly nominated bodies, they have become entirely elective. Secondly, their franchise, which was widening, had, with the enactment of the Bombay Local Authorities Adult Franchise and Removal of Reservation of Seats Act (XVII of 1950), reached the widest limits possible, viz., universal adult franchise ; every person who -

(a) is a citizen of India,
(b) has attained the age of 21 years, and
(c) has the requisite residence, business premises or taxation qualification, is now entitled to be enrolled as a voter.

Thirdly, wider and wider powers have been gradually conferred on local bodies for the administration of the areas under their charge. The primary schools in the municipal areas are run by the Zilla Parishad.

Under the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 which came into force from May 1, 1962, all ex-Boards, i.e., District Local Board, District School Board, District Building Committee, District Development Board were abolished and their work was vested in the Zilla Parishad. All village panchayats have to work under their respective Taluka Samitis.

The following offices of the Government also were taken over by the Zilla Parishad: —

1. District Village Panchayat Mandal.
2. Agriculture Department.
3. Education Department.
4. Animal Husbandry.
5. Co-operative Department (partial).
6. Social Welfare Department.
7. Publicity Department, excluding Publicity Officer.
8. Industries Department, excluding District Industries Officer.
9. Health Department, excluding malaria eradication,
10. Works, excluding national highways.
11. Irrigation up to 101.171 hectares or 250 acres.
12. Dry Farming.

Subjects of Activities.

Agriculture.

In what follows is described, in brief, the subjects of activities of different departments:—

Agriculture.

(a) Establishment, management, maintenance and the giving of grants to agricultural schools (including grants-in-aid to agricultural schools), but not including matters relating to (i) laying down of syllabus, (ii) prescription of text-books and (iii) conducting annual examinations.
(b) Crop competitions.
(c) Crop protection.
(d) Crop campaign (including kharif and rabi crop campaigns and intensive paddy cultivation).
(e) Compost and green manures.
(f) Distribution of fertilisers, agricultural implements and agricultural quota of iron, steel and cement.
(g) Demonstration of improved agricultural practices.
(h) Model demonstration of subsidiary seed farms.
(i) Importation and distribution of improved seeds.
(j) Establishment and maintenance of godowns.
(k) Advancement and improvement of agriculture.
(l) Eradication of noxious plants.
(m) Acclimatisation of exotics.

Animal Husbandry.

(a) Veterinary aid (excluding district veterinary hospitals but
including veterinary dispensaries, veterinary aid centres and
village veterinary chests).
(b) Improvement of breed of cattle, horses, and other livestock
(including artificial insemination sub-centres, key village centres,
premium bull centres, fodder development plots, silo pits, forma
tion of taluka and district livestock improvement association and
the like, and distribution of improved breed of sheep).
(c) Distribution of improved poultry.
(d) Organisation of cattle shows and rallies.

Forests

(a) Village forests and grazing lands (including measures for development of village woodlands for purposes of pasture and fuel).

Social Welfare.

(a) Educational development of backward classes, including measures relating to—
1. grant of scholarships, freeships and examination fees to backward class students. (b) Economic development of backward classes including—
(1) giving of financial assistance to individual cultivators in the form of loans and subsidies for the purpose of purchasing agricultural requisites,
(2) giving of financial assistance to individual artisans in the form of loan and subsidies for cottage industries and professions,
(3) supply of spinning wheels to vimukta jatis,
(4) development of communications in backward areas,

(5) maintenance of co-operative stores and grant of subsidies to multipurpose co-operative societies for maintenance of staff (so far as co-operative societies having not more than rupees five lakhs working capital each and having jurisdiction over less than a district, are concerned),
(6) establishment of handicraft centres, and
(7) development of cattle-breeding and poultry farms.

(c) Removal of untouchability.
(d) Programmes for welfare of backward classes.

Education.

(a) Establishment, management, maintenance and inspection of primary and basic schools, including grants-in-aid to schools but excluding—
(i) laying down of syllabus,
(ii) prescription of text-books,
(iii) conducting scholarship examinations,
(iv) conducting Primary School Certificate Examinations and Standard IV examinations and
(v) such other powers as are vested in the State Government. under the Bombay Primary Education Act, 1947.
(b) Establishment, management, maintenance and inspection of Secondary Schools, excluding—
(i) prescription of curriculum,
(ii) prescription of text-books.
(iii) rates of and conditions for maintenance grants,
(iv) permission for conversion of high schools into higher secondary schools.
(v) rates of fees,
(vi) laying down general conditions for recognition,
(vii) conducting primary and high school scholarship examinations,
(viii) such other powers as may be specifically entrusted to the Director of Education or reserved for the State Government, under the Grant-in-Aid Code.
In the case of private secondary schools, only grants are recommended and disbursed on the receipt of sanction from the Director of Education.
(c) Grant of loans and scholarships to students in respect of primary and secondary education.
(d) Construction and maintenance of primary and secondary school buildings of the Zilla Parishad.
(e) Other educational objects.
(f) Provision of equipment and playgrounds for schools.

Medical

(a) Taluka dispensaries, including their upgrading.
(b) Hospitals, excluding civil and cottage as also big Government hospitals.
(c) Subsidised Medical Practitioners' Centres.
(d) Rural medical relief centres and public medical relief.
(e) Grant of financial assistance to institutions giving anti-rabic treatment to indigent persons.
(f) Grants-in-aid to private charitable hospitals, dispensaries, maternity homes and such other institutions.

Ayurvedic.

(a) Ayurvedic and Unani dispensaries (including giving grants to such dispensaries).
(b) Replenishing stock of ayurvedic medicine chest in villages.

Public Health.

(a) Primary health centres.
(b) Mobile hygiene units.
(c)Combined medical and public health units.
(d) Vaccination.

(e) School health service.
(f) Measures for treatment of Anti-yaws.
(g) Maternity and Child Welfare Centres.
(h) Maintenance of medicine boxes in villages.
(i) Facilities for health education,
(j) Rural sanitation.
(k) Taking of necessary measures in the interest of public health. (l) Reclamation of unhealthy localities.

Buildings and Communications.

(a) Construction, maintenance and repairs of—
(i) village roads,
(ii) other district roads,
(iii) major district roads and
(iv) bridges on above-mentioned roads.
(b) Rural parks and gardens.
(c) Construction of administrative and other buildings in connection with Zilla Parishad's requirements.
(d) Means of communications, other than roads.
(e) Public ferries.
(f) Maintenance of trees in the vicinity of roads. (g) Light railways ana tramways,
(h) Telephone lines.

Public Water-supply

(a) Rural water-supply.
(b) Protected water-supply for fairs in rural areas.
(c) Works for preservation of water for drinking, bathing and cooking from pollution.

Irrigation

Minor Irrigation Works (only those works which irrigate 250 acres or less).

Industries

Industries and Cottage Industries

(a) Local Industries The grants of loans is limited up to rupees ten thousand in each case in respect of small-scale or cottage industries.
(b) Local Arts

(c) Training institutes and schools, excluding research institutes and institutes meant for an area larger than a district.
(d) Training-cwm-production centres and production centres.
(e) Sales depots and emporia.
(f) Giving of grants-in-aid and loans to individual craftsman.
(g) Giving of stipends to trainees.
(h) Promotion and development of cottage and village industries.
(i) Organising marketing facilities for cottage and village industries products.
(j) Giving of grants-in-aid and loans to industrial co-operatives.
(k) Handlooms.
(l) Executive work relating to enforcement of Weights and Measures Act.

Co-operation

(a) Registration of co-operative societies (only in respect of those societies whose working capital does not exceed rupees five lakhs each and whose jurisdiction is less than a district).
(b) Approval to bye-laws of the types of societies mentioned above.
(c) Appeals arising out of non-admission of members to the type of societies mentioned above.
(d) Administrative supervision over co-operative societies (only to the extent of examination of the general working of societies, their management and financial position, with a view to improving the business standards adopted by the societies and their office
bearers and also extending their activities).
(e) Promotion and extension in respect of all types of co-operative societies.
(f) Sponsoring of applications of co-operative societies for financial assistance from the State Government.
(g) Sponsoring of applications of co-operative societies (such as may be specified by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies) to concerned federal societies in respect of participation in share capital.
(h) Taking shares in co-operatives in those cases in which the State Government can take shares subject to conditions laid down by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies.
(i) Supervision and control over Agricultural Produce Markets.


Publicity

(a) Mobile publicity vans.
(b) Organising district exhibitions.
(c) Publicity through recreational activities.
(d) Rural broadcasting.

Community Development

Social Education

(a) Community Development Programme.
(b) Local Development Works Programme.

Social Education

(a) Community recreation centres.
(b) Adult literacy centres.
(c) Sports, games, playgrounds, equipment and welfare organisations.
(d) Kisan melas.
(e) Conducting visits.
(f) Dissemination of information.
(g) Short camps.
(h) Women's organisation and welfare.
(i) Children's organisation and welfare.
(j) Mobile cinema vans.
(k) Libraries and reading-rooms.
(l) Fairs, shows and exhibitions-

Rural housing

(a) Rural housing.

Miscellaneous

(a) Village uplift.
(b) Building model villages (including grants and loans for the purposes).
(c) Economic welfare of villages.
(d) Local works or measures likely to promote health, safety,comfort or convenience of the public.
(e) Markets.
(f) Dharmashalas, rest-houses, travellers" bungalows, sarais and the like.
(g) Chawadis.
(h) Other public institutions.
(i) Local unemployment, other than industrial unemployment.
(j) Improvement and extension of village sites (including grants and loans for the purpose).
(k) Laying new village sites (including grants and loans for the purpose).
(l) Well-being of employees of Zilla Parishad.
(m) Provision of houses for employees of Zilla Parishad.
(n) Planting and preservation of trees on public grounds and gardens.
(o) Rewards for destruction of wild animals.
(p) Public receptions and ceremonies and entertainments.
(q) Arrangement for local pilgrimages.
(r) Burial and cremation grounds.
(s) Sammelans of panchas, sarpanchas of village panchavats and other non-officials.
(t) Local vagrancy relief for the poor.
(u) Maintenance of poor-houses.

Powers and Functions

President.

The powers and functions of the non-official office-bearers of the Zilla Parishad are detailed below. The President shall—
(a) convene, preside at and conduct meetings of the Zilla Parishad ;
(b) have access to the records of the Zilla Parishad ;
(c) discharge all duties imposed, and exercise all the powers conferred on him by or under the Act;
(d) watch over the financial and executive administration and submit to the Parishad all questions connected therewith which shall require its orders ; and
(e) exercise administrative supervision and control over the Chief Executive Officer for securing implementation of resolutions or decisions of the Zilla Parishad or of the Standing Committee, or of any Subjects Committee, or of any Panchayat Samiti.

The President may in cases of emergency direct the execution or suspension or stoppage of any work or the doing of any act which requires the sanction of the Zilla Parishad or any authority thereof, and immediate execution or doing of which, in his opinion, is necessary for the service or safety of the public, and may direct that the expense of executing such work or doing such act shall be paid from the District Fund.

Provided that, he shall report forthwith the action taken under this Section, and the full reasons thereof to the Zilla Parishad, the Standing Committee and the appropriate Subjects Committee at their next meetings and the Zilla Parishad, or the Committee may amend or annul the direction made by the President.

Vice-President

Vice-President shall—

(a) in the absence of the President, preside at the meetings of the Zilla Parishad ;
(b) exercise such of the powers and perform such of the duties of the President as the President from time to time may,subject to the rules made by the State Government in this behalf, delegate to him by an order in writing; and
(c) pending the election of a President, or during the absence of the President, exercise the powers and perform the duties of
the President.

The Vice-President who is the Chairman of two Subjects Committees gets consolidated honorarium of Rs. 300 per month along with rent-free residential accommodation.

Chairman of Standing Committee or subjects Committee

Subject to the provisions of the Act, and the rules made thereunder by the State Government, the Chairman of the Standing Committee or a Subjects Committee shall—

(i) convene, preside at and conduct meetings of the Committee and
(ii) have access to the records of the Committee.

Chairmand of Standing committee or Subjects committee

The Chairman of any such Committee may, in relation to subjects allotted to the Committee,—
(i) call for any information, return, statement, account or report from any officer employed by or holding office under the Zilla Parishad or any servant thereof and
(ii) enter and inspect any immovable property occupied by the Zilla Parishad or any institution under the control and management of the Zilla Parishad or any work or development scheme in progress undertaken by the Zilla Parishad or under its direction:

Provided that the Chairman of the Standing Committee may, in relation to any subject allotted to any Subjects Committee, also exercise the powers under this clause.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee may grant leave of absence for any period exceeding two months, but not exceeding four months, to any officer of Class I Service (other than the Chief Executive Officer) or Class II Service holding office under the Zilla Parishad.

Save as otherwise provided by or under this Act, the powers to be exercised and the duties to be discharged by, and which subjects enumerated in the district list are to be allotted to, the Standing Committee and each of the Subjects Committees, shall be such as may be prescribed by regulations; but all subjects in relation to social welfare enumerated in the district list are allotted to the Standing Committee.

The Vice-President is the Chairman of two Subjects Committees. The Councillors have to elect from amongst elected Councillors two persons to he Chairmen of the remaining Subjects Commit-[tees. They also get an honorarium of Rs. 300 each per month along with rent-free residential accommodation.

Officials

A Chief Executive Officer, a Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Block Development Officers and the Heads of various departments of the Zilla Parishad are the executive officers of the Zilla Parishad. They are all gazetted officers and are transferable by the State Government to other districts. The Chief Executive Officer belongs to the cadre of Indian Administrative Service and his rank is equal to that of a Collector. The Deputy Chief Executive Officer is an officer of the rank of the Deputy Collector. The Block Development Officers are Class II Officers while the heads of the departments are either Class I or Class II Officers.

Powers and duties of the Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer—
(i) shall lay down the duties of all the officers and servants of or holding office under the Zilla Parishad in accordance with the rules made by the State Government;
(ii) shall be entitled to call for any information, return, statement, account or report from any officer or servant of, or holding office under the Zilla Parishad;

(iii) shall supervise and control the execution of all the activities of the Zilla Parishad;
(iv) shall have papers and documents connected with the proceedings of meetings of the Zilla Parishad and of its committees(Sections 95 to 99 of the Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961.) (excluding Panchayat Samitis) ;
(v) shall draw and disburse money out of the District Fund;
(vi) shall excieisc supervision and control over the acts of officers and servants holding office under the Zilla Parishad in matters of executive administration and those relating to accounts and records of the Zilla Parishad ;
(vii) shall be entitled to attend the meetings of the Zilla Parishad or any of its committees (including any Panchayat Samiti).
(viii) Any of the powers conferred or duties or functions imposed upon or vested in the Chief Executive Officer by or under the Act, may also be exercised, performed or discharged under the control of the Chief Executive Officer and subject to such conditions and limitations, if any, as he may think fit to lay down, by any officer or servant holding office under the, Zilla Parishad to whom the Chief Executive Officer generally or specially empowers by order in writing. All such orders of the Chief Executive Officer shall, however, be laid before the President, the Standing Committee and the relevant Subjects Committees for information.
(ix) He shall assess and give his opinion confidentially every year on the work of the officers of Class I service and Class II service holding office under the Zilla Parishad ; forward them to such authorities as may be prescribed by the State Government and lay down the procedure for writing such reports about the work of officers and servants of Class III service and Class IV service under the Zilla Parishad.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer shall be the Secretary, ex-officio, of the Zilla Parishad, as well as the Standing Committee(Sections 9 and 79 of the Act.).

Block Development Officer

The Block Development Officer—

(i) shall have the custody of all papers and documents connected with the proceedings of meetings of the Panchayat Samitis;
(ii) shall be the Secretary, ex-officio, of the Panchayat Samiti;( Section 57 of the Act.)
(iii) shall, subject to the general order of the Chief Executive Officer, grant leave of absence to an officer or servant of Class III service or of Class IV service of the Zilla Parishad working under the Panchayat Samiti;
(iv) shall call for any information, return, statement, account, report, or explanation from any of the officers or servants working under the Panchayat Samiti;

(v) shall draw and disburse money out of the grant or rents payable to the Panchayat Samiti under sections 185 and 188 ;
(vi) shall, in relation to the works and development schemes to he undertaken from the block grants, exercise such powers of sanctioning acquisition of property, sale or transfer thereof, as may be specified by the State Government.

Head of the departments

(i) Every head of the department of the Zilla Parishad may, in respect of works and development schemes pertaining to his department, accord technical sanction thereto.
(ii) He shall assess and give his opinion confidentially every year on the work of officers of Class II service working in his department and shall forward them to the Chief Executive Officer.
(iii) The head of department, specified in this behalf, shall be the secretary, ex-officio, of such Subjects Committees as the Zilla Parishad may direct(Section 80 of the Act.).

Administrative Organisation

The Nagpur Zilla Parishad started functioning from May 1, 1962 with the coming into force of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 (No. V of 1962). The Parishad consists of 63 members, 51 elected and 12 co-opted, co-opted members being two for each Committee. Nine Chairmen of the Panchayat Samitis are elected to the Zilla Parishad while four are ex-officio members of the Zilla Parishad by virtue of their being Chairmen of the Panchayat Samitis.

The Zilla Parishad has been divided into six Subjects Committees along with the Standing Committee. The Subjects Committees along with the department of the Zilla Parishad they control are as under: —

Subjects Committee
(1)
Department controlled.
(2)
Standing Committee . . General Administration Department
Finance Committee Finance Department.
Education Committee . . Education Department.
Co-operation Committee Co-operation and Industries Department.
Agriculture Committee Agriculture Department.
Works Committee Works Department.
Health Committee Health Department.

The Chief Executive Officer is the administrative head of the Zilla Parishad.

General Administration Department

In what follows is given a short description of the working of the departments of the Zilla Parishad.

The General Administration department of the Zilla Parishad came into being with effect from May 1, 1962, along with six other departments of the Zilla Parishad. The General Administration department is headed by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer. He is besides the Secretary of the Standing Committee of the Zilla Parishad. Prior to May I, 1962, the General Administration department was not in existence but two branches of the Collector's office viz,, the development branch and the village panchayat branch were dealing with the development work. The development branch was headed by the District Project Officer in the Deputy Collector's grade and the village panchayat branch by Village Panchayat Officer who was also in the Deputy Collector's grade. The important role of the General Administration department of the Zilla Parishad is to control the whole non-gazetted establishment of the Zilla Parishad and Panchayat Samitis, to arrange for the meetings of the Zilla Parishad and Subjects Committee, to plan for the development works to be undertaken by the Zilla Parishad and to keep administrative control on all the departments and the Panchayat Samitis. All revenue and village panchayat matters of the Zilla Parishad are dealt with by this department.

The department deals with groups of subjects of a nontechnical nature and [he work is controlled and supervised by the Standing Committee. The work of the department is done through its different sections such as establishment, parishad, planning and development, panchayat, revenue, miscellaneous, registry and record.

Social Welfare Department

The Social Welfare department forms a section of the General Administration department, which is headed by the Social Welfare Officer (Class II Gazetted).

The activities carried out by the Social Welfare department in Nagpur district ate classified into Backward Class Welfare and Social Welfare Programmes.

Backward Class Welfare Programmes

Backward Class Welfare programmes aim at the amelioration of the conditions of the backward classes, so that they reach the standards of other sections of the society as quickly as possible. Several schemes of educational, financial and miscellaneous nature have been sanctioned for their welfare. Under educational schemes, various concessions towards payment of scholarships, tuition fees and examination fees are granted to all categories of backward classes. The department encourages the voluntary agencies to maintain hostels for boys and girls belonging to backward classes by giving substantial grants-in-aid, the advantage of which is taken by all categories of students belonging to backward classes.

Under the housing programme, subsidy is. given to the backward class families towards construction of houses.

Social Welfare

Though the activities under Social Welfare do not come under the Zilla Parishad, still the Social Welfare Officer of the Zilla Parishad has to do the work concerning the Social Welfare activities in the district. They include —

(1) State Home for Rescued Women, (2) Certified School, (3) Remand Homes, (4) Home for Crippled Children, (5) Government Shelter Workshop for dear, mute etc., (6) Social and Physical Welfare Institutions, (7) dance, drama and music schools, (8) grants to orphanages and (9) grants to institutions for physically handicapped.

The Juvenile Guidance Centre which is functioning at Nagpur has been transferred to the Zilla Parishad on agency basis and the Social Welfare Officer has to look after this Centre though there is an Organizer for the centre.

Kalapathak.—Under the Directorate of Social Welfare of the former Government of Madhya Pradesh, the Kalapathak forming a cultural squad was attached to each district. The same squad consisting of seven artistes is being continued in Vidarbha region after the reorganisation of States in November, 1956. Each Kalapathak is equipped with musical instruments, stage equipment and green-room accessories. A Kalapathak is a song and drama party that instructs while it entertains. Dramatics, bhajanas, powadas, dialogues are some of the items of its repertoire. In short, they stage performances to bring into limelight all social handicaps and the ways to overcome them.

Under audio-visual scheme, films and documentaries are exhibited in the villages.

Finance Department

The Finance department of the Zilla Parishad is entrusted with four-fold duties, viz., accounts, audit, custody of cash, and custody and verification of stores. It has also to act as financial advisor to the several departments of the Zilla Parishad. The Chief Accounts and Finance Officer who is the Secretary of the Finance Committee is the head of the department and is drawn from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service. There is an Accounts Officer to assist him.

Preparation of the budget is also a function of the department which is dealt with by an independent branch created for the purpose. The department co-ordinates the budgets of the several departments before they are placed for approval. The Subjects Committees scrutinise the budget proposals and make recommendations. The Chairman of the Finance Committee is ex-officio President of the Standing Committee for Finance and guides the deliberations of the Committee.

The Accounts and Audit branches are under the initial supervision of two experienced Head Assistants, one drawn from the Treasury and the other from the ex-Janapada Sabha.

The department has also a stores branch which is controlled by a Superintendent. This is in addition to another stores branch functioning in the Works department under the supervision of a Store-Keeper.

As mentioned earlier, Finance department is in custody of cash. Pursuant to this, funds required for the activities of the Panchayat Samitis are allotted by the department through the Central Co-operative Bank, Nagpur, which has nine branches in the district. The budgets of the Panchayat Samitis are included in the budget of the Zilla Parishad. Otherwise, the Panchayat Samitis work as independent units in respect of works executed in their respective jurisdictions.

During 1962-63, the income of the Nagpur Zilla Parishad was estimated at Rs. 1,58,98,367 and expenditure at Rs. 1,76,06,874.

Works Department

The Works department like other departments is directly under the administrative control of the Chief Executive Officer. The Parishad Executive Engineer is the head of the department and is solely responsible for execution of works pertaining to buildings, roads and irrigation works under the Parishad. The execution of these works Is vested mainly in the Deputy Engineers in charge of the Sub-Divisions under the Parishad Executive Engineer.

In Nagpur district there -are 13 Panchayat Samitis and the works in these Panchayat Samitis are under the administrative control of the Block Development Officers concerned. So far as the technical matters are concerned the Block Development Officers are under the administrative control of Parishad Executive Engineer and in respect of all other matters they are directly responsible to the Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad, Nagpur.

The Works Department has undertaken many constructional activities in the district. The construction of Jalalkheda-Karanja road with a length of 9 miles and three furlongs has been completed along with the improvements to Nagpur-Katol Road. Only minor works remain to be done in case of Gond-khairi-Chungri road and Amdi-Naikund-Parseoni roads. The works that are partially completed include Hingna-Hingani road. Girad-Umrer road, Panchgaon-Kuhi road, Hingna-Kanholi road, Narkhed-Sawargaon road, Umrer-Bori road, Godhani-Zilpa road, Sawargaon-Pimpla road, Kalmeshwar-Dhapewada road, Mohpa-Dhapewada road and Kudegaon-Khapa road.

Agriculture Department

The Agriculture department is in the charge of the Parishad Agricultural Officer who is directly responsible to the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad. He is assisted by one Assistant District Agricultural Officer and two Agricultural Officers and members of the subordinate service.

The District Agricultural Officer has been specially assigned the work relating to animal husbandry. He is the head of the animal husbandry section of The department. In this work he is assisted by the Animal Husbandry Officer of the Zilla Parishad who is in actual charge of the section.

The Agricultural Officers' have to undertake kharif and rabi campaigns, paddy pilot scheme and have to look after the work of their subordinate staff. The District Agricultural Officer is responsible for the development of agricultural activities with a view to increasing agricultural production in the district.

The Animal Husbandry department at the district level was headed by the District Animal Husbandry Officer and many of the powers of the Regional Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, had been delegated to him. With the formation of the Zilla Parishad, the Animal Husbandry department is merged with the Agriculture department and it now forms a section of Agriculture department. The Animal Husbandry Officer is responsible for the technical guidance pertaining to all animal husbandry matters and as a head of the Section he is directly responsible to the Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad, Nagpur.

Education Department

Before the inception of the Zilla Parishad, education was under the jurisdiction of the State Government and the Director of Education was the head of the department at the State level.

Central Government schemes and the State Government policies regarding education were executed at the district level by the Government Inspectorate in the district. The District Inspectorate consisted ot one Educational Inspector, one Deputy Educational Inspector and 34 Assistant Deputy Educational Inspectors. All educational institutions in the district were under the control of the Educational Inspector. To facilitate the administration of primary education, District School Boards were entrusted with the work of primary education. Secondary schools, primary training colleges and other technical and professional institutions were directly under the control of the Educational Inspector. The Inspector and his deputies visited and inspected these institutions and recommended grants-in-aid. Besides this, the responsibility of the control of the primary education also partly vested with the Educational Inspector, as he was empowered to have general supervision over the administration of the schools.

The District School Board which is now a defunct body was composed of a Chairman, a Vice-chairman, and 14 other elected and nominated members. The Administrative Officer, who worked as the ex-officio Secretary of the body, was the representative of the State Government to guide the Board on Government policies in respect of educational matters. He executed the programmes chalked out by the Board for Primary Education in consultation with the Staff Selection Committee, a statutory body under the Primary Education Act, 1947. Teachers were interviewed, selected and appointed by him in accordance with the rules prescribed by the State Government.

The academic side of primary schools was supervised and controlled by the Assistant Deputy Educational Inspectors working under the control of the Educational Inspector who visited and inspected the primary schools. They recommended cases for opening of primary schools, grants to primary schools, etc., through the Deputy Educational Inspector who was their immediate superior.

This was in brief the picture of the administrative set-up with the powers and duties of the functionaries of the Education department prior to the advent of the Zilla Parishad.

The Parishad Educational Officer is the head of the Education department in the district. He has to work under the direct control of the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad. He is assisted by two Deputy Educational Officers along with 22 Assistant Deputy Educational Inspectors.

In 1962 there were 5 Senior Basic schools, 7 non-Government primary schools both for hoys and girls and 781 other primary schools. In addition, there were 75 non-Government and 2 Government middle schools. Thirteen primary schools were given permission to extend the classes up to middle school.

Public Health Department

Under the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961, all responsibilities regarding public health and medical aid in rural areas have been transferred to the Zilla Parishad. As such the Public Health Staff and Medical Staff (except that of the Civil hospital and Cottage hospitals) formerly working under Public Health department, Medical department and ex-Janapada Sabha have been transferred to the Zilla Parishad, Nagpur, from May 1, 1962.

The health matters in the district arc under dual control. The primary health centres, maternity and child health centres along with other institutions in the district health organisation are looked after entirely by the Zilla Parishad while the leprosy survey, education and treatment units and family planning centres arc looked after by the Zilla Parishad on agency basis. The department in the State sector controls the following institutions in the district: —

1. Medical College, Nagpur.
2. Government Civil Hospitals.
3. Ayurvedic College, Nagpur.
4. Mental Hospital, Nagpur.
5. T.B. Control and Training Institute, Nagpur.
6. Malaria Eradication Unit, Nagpur.
7. Filaria Control Unit, Nagpur.
8. Public Health Institute, Nagpur.
9. Health Education Bureau, Nagpur.
10. B.C.G. Unit, Nagpur.
11. Leprosy Subsidiary Centre, Umrer.
12. Family Planning Centre attached to Government Institution.
13. Regional Family Planning Training Centre.
14. Health School, Nagpur.
15. Health Unit, Saoner.

The municipal allopathic dispensaries run by the different municipal committees are also controlled in the State sector by the Civil Surgeon, Nagpur.

The health department of the Zilla Parishad is looked after by the Public Health Officer of the Zilla Parishad as the head of the department. All the staff pertaining to the schemes controlled by the Zilla Parishad works under him. The services of all Assistant Medical Officers have been transferred to the Zilla Parishad. The Public Health Officer works as the Secretary to the Health Committee.

The Zilla Parishad has under its control 12 allopathic dispensaries which were formerly under the different Janapad Sahhas. The ayurvedic dispensaries and the vaccination establishment which were controlled by the Janapad Sabhas have also been transferred to the Zilla Parishad. Six family planning centres in rural areas and organisation of vasectomy camps, orientation camps arc some of the duties of the Zilla Parishad. Four leprosy survey, education and treatment centres in rural areas are managed by the Zilla Parishad while the leprosy sub-centre at Umrer and a temporary hospital ward at Mayo Hospital are in the State sector.

The national smallpox eradication scheme is also transferred to the Zilla Parishad. The implementation of the State scheme with central assistance has been given to the Zilla Parishad. The necessary equipment has also been provided to the Zilla Parishad.

The Director of Public Health, Maharashtra State, exercises technical control over all the health activities of the Nagpur Zilla Parishad through the Deputy Director of Public Health Services, Nagpur.

Industries and Co-operation Department

The revised set-up of the Co-operative department of the State Government came into existence from March 1, 1961 according to which the District Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, was made the District head and under him three Assistant Registrars were placed with territorial jurisdictions. The co-operative department was executing two types of functions, viz., (1) regulatory and (2) promotional and extension activities. According to the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 the Zilla Parishad has been entrusted with the promotional and extension activities with certain reservations for municipal areas. The regulatory functions have, however, been retained with the department in the State sector.

The department is headed by the Officer who is designated as Co-operation and Industries Officer. He is assisted by a Co-operative Officer and one Assistant Co-operative Officer along with two Extension Officers, one for co-operation and one for industries, attached to each Panchayat Samiti.

Panchayat Samitis

The statutory powers under the Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 regarding registration of Co-operative Societies and amendment of bye-laws and hearing appeals for non-admission of membership by co-operative societies arc delegated to this officer under the Zilla Parishad.
Under Section 57 of the Act, a Panchayat Samiti has been provided for every Block. Every Panchayat Samiti will consist of the following members: —

(a) All councillors who are elected on the Zilla Parishad from the electoral divisions in the block.
(b) The co-opted councillor of the Zilla Parishad residing in the block.
(c) The Chairmen of such co-operative societies conducting the business of purchase and sale of agricultural products in the block as nominated by Government (to be associate members).
(d) The Chairman of a co-operative society conducting business relating to agriculture (not being a society falling under ' c'above) in the Block, co-opted by the Panchayat Samiti (to bean associate member).
(e) In case of non-availability of a woman member or a member belonging to the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes, one member who is a regular resident in the Block, to be co-opted by the Panchayat Samiti.
(f) Sarpanchas elected by members of the village panchayats.
The term of office of the Chairmen and members of the Panchayat Samitis is co-terminous(Section 59 of the Zilla Parishad Act.).

Chairman

The Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti is paid an honorarium of Rs. 300 per month with the facilities of free residential accommodation(Vide Section 69 of the Act.). The Deputy Chairman of Panchayat Samiti is paid an honorarium of Rs. 150 per month (Vide Section 69 of the Act.).
Powers and functions of Chairman:
Subject to the provisions of the Act and the rules or regulations made thereunder,—
(1) the Chairman of a Panchayat Samiti shall—
(a) convene, preside at and conduct meetings of the Panchayat Samiti;
(b) have access to the records of the Panchayat Samiti;
(c) exercise supervision and control over the acts of officers and servants of or under the Zilla Parishad and working in the Block in matters of execution or administration and the accounts and records of the Pancbayat Samiti;
(d) in relation to works and development schemes to be undertaken from block grants, exercise such powers of sanctioning acquisition of property or sale or transfer thereof as may be specified by the State Government.
(2) The Chairman of a Panchayat Samiti may—
(a) call for any information, return, statement, account or report from any officer or servant working under the Panchayat Samiti ;
(6) enter on and inspect any immovable property in the Block occupied by the Zilla Parishad or any institution in the Block under the control and management of the Zilla Parishad, or the Panchayat Samiti or any work or development scheme in progress in the Block undertaken by the Zilla Parishad or the Panchayat Samiti or under its direction.

Powers and Functions of Deputy Chairman

Deputy Chairman

(1) The Deputy Chairman of a Panchayat Samiti shall—
(a) in the absence of the Chairman, preside at the meeting of the Panchayat Samiti;
(b) exercise such of the powers and perform such of the duties of the Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti as the Chairman from
time to time may, subject to the rules made by the State Government in that behalf, delegate to him by an order in writing ;
and
(c) pending the election of the Chairman or during the absence of the Chairman exercise the powers and perform the
duties of the Chairman.
(2) The Deputy Chairman of a Panchayat Samiti may enter on and inspect any immovable property in the Block occupied by the
Zilla Parishad or any institution in the Block under the control and management of the Zilla Parishad or the Panchayat Samiti
or any work or development scheme in progress in the Block undertaken by the Zilla Parishad or the Panchayat Samiti or
under its direction and shall send a report of such inspection tothe Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti.
In Nagpur district the Panchayat Samitis have been formed at Narkhed, Kalmesbwar, Mouda, Kuhi, Nagpur, Katol, Bhiwapur, Saoner, Ramtek, Kamptee, Hingana and Umred.

 
VILLAGE PANCHAYAT
 
The last but not the least important ring in the chain of Government is provided for by the panchayats which form the base of Government.

Historical Background.
During the early times every village was a self-sufficient unit and was administered by grampanchayats. During the British regime, the grampanchayats lost their importance due to centralization of power. In the beginning of 19th century growing need was felt for at least granting restricted local government so as to keep away the popular discontent. Accordingly an Act was passed in 1915, which was implemented in 1920 by the establishment of a few village panchayats in the district. The supervision was entrusted to the District Council, then in existence.

Village Panchayats Act of 1946.

The Village Panchayats Act of 1946, brought in force from 1946, envisaged the establishment of village panchayats for villages the population of which was above 1,000, above 500 and below 500 in three stages. Within one year, the phased programme was completed except for a few villages in the last stage

.According to the Act of 1946 the panchayats with membership between 5 and 15 were established on the basis of male adult franchise. They were to elect a Sarpanch and an up-sarpanch from amongst themselves. The revenue Palil of the village was an ex-officio member of the panchayat.

The Act divided the duties of the village panchayats into obligatory and optional.The obligatory duties of the village panchayats included sanitary and health measures, construction and repairs of roads, maintenance of birth and death registers, providing water-supply, and to undertake such other works meant for public convenience while the optional duties involved construction and maintenance of dharmashalas, development of agriculture, co-operation, veterinary services, etc. The gram-panchayats were to undertake the optional functions provided their funds permitted.

The incomes of the village panchayats were derived from various sources such as cesses, house-tax, sanitary-tax, and other taxes as also grants from Janapad Sabhas and the Government.

Judicial functions were also performed by a few gram-panchayats. They were authorised to impose fine up to Rs. 20 and conduct civil suits of the value of not more than Rs. 100. The appeals against the decisions were heard by the District and Sessions Judge. The panchayats were authorised to appoint the Secretaries and other necessary staff.

Village Panchayats Act, 1958

After the reorganisation of States, the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, 1958, was made applicable to the district.
According to the Act of 1958 which came into force in the district from June 1, 1959, women got representation over the panchayats ; the membership of revenue Patils who were ex-officio members of the panchayats was abrogated. The division of the duties of village panchayats as obligatory and optional was annulled and the panchavats were made responsible for the all-round development of villages. The Act has given wide powers to village panchayats.

The special features of the new Act are: —

(a) reservation of two seats for women in every village panchayat,
(b) constitution of Gram Sabhas of all adult residents of the village,
(c) establishment of District Village Panchayat Mandal for every district (now defunct since the formation of the Zilla Parishad),
(d) the secretary of a Village Panchayat to be a Government servant and to be paid by Government.
(e) the training of a Village Panchayat Secretary to be under-taken at its own cost,
(f) entrusting the work of collection of land revenue and maintenance of land records to village panchayats,
(g) payments to village panchayats of grants-in-aid of not less than 25 per cent of the land revenue collected in villages, and
(h) constitution of group nyaya panchayats for five or more villages with fairly wide judicial powers, both Civil and Criminal.
A District Village Panchayat Officer has been appointed to control the administration of Village Panchayats in Nagpur district. He assisted the Collector in his functions and duties in respect of administration of Village Panchayats with the aid of District Auditor, five Sub-Auditors and other necessary staff. Besides, two Social Welfare Inspectors have been allotted to the district as supervisory staff.

With the formation of the Zilla Parishad the District Panchayat Mandal has been abolished and the Village Panchayat Officer now works with the Zilla Parishad. The control of the Village Panchayats now vests in the Zilla Parishad through Panchayat Samitis.
The coverage programme under Village Panchayats as envisaged under the Second Five-Year Plan is now complete in the district. There are 651 Village Panchayats covering 1,874 villages. The entire rural area of the district is now covered by Village Panchayats.

At the Village Assistants Training Centre, Kamptee, so far over 105 Village Assistants (Village Panchayat Secretaries) have been trained. An additional refreshers' course for one month was also held for the Village Assistants and the Patwaris who had undergone training as Village Assistants. The Village Assistant and the Sarpanch work in perfect co-operation and complement each other in the performance of their numerous functions.

Village Panchayats in the district get land revenue grants at a uniform rate of twenty-five per cent of the Land Revenue collected during the preceding year. The total amount disbursed on account of Land Revenue Grants in 1960-61 worked out to Rs. 1,62,407.38.

Village Panchayats have recently gained importance not only as administrative units but also as basic institutions for rural planning and all-round development of rural areas. Village Panchayats have been made the sole non-official agency for executing development works in the Community Development Blocks with the democratic decentralization envisaged by the establishment of the Zilla Parishad and the Panchayat Samitis.

 

TOWN PLANNING AND VALUATION

 
The Maharashtra State has an independent Town Planning and Valuation department under the administrative control of the Urban Development and Public Health Department. The department principally deals with two important subjects, viz, 'Town Planning' and 'Valuation of Real Property'.

Duties and functions

Town Planning.

2. The Duties and Functions of the department are as under—


(1) To educate the municipalities regarding the advantages of town planning and preparation of development plans and town planning schemes under the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954.
(2) To advise the municipalities in the selection of suitable areas for preparation of town planning schemes.
(3) To give the required assistance to the municipalities inthe preparation of development plans and town planning schemes in the shape of advice as well as loan of services of technical assistants for the preparation of development plans, draft town planning schemes, etc.
(4) To perform the duties of the Town Planning Officers when so appointed by Government to scrutinise building permission cases, to tender advice to the Board of Appeal and to draw up the final schemes.
(5) To issue Certificates of Tenure and Title to the owners of land included in the town planning schemes.
(6) To advise Government on all matters regarding town and country planning including legislation.
(7) To advise and prepare town development, improvement, extension and slum clearance in schemes under the Municipal Act.
(8) To prepare development schemes or layouts of land:—
(i) belonging to Government, and
(ii) belonging to Co-operative Housing Societies and private bodies with the sanction of Government.
(9) To advise officers concerned in respect of village planning and preparation of layouts for model villages, etc.
(10) To advise Government on housing, slum clearance, regional planning and prevention of ribbon development includeing legislation.
(11) To prepare type designs for the housing of the middle and poorer classes including Harijans.
(12) To scrutinise miscellaneous building permission cases and layouts received from the Collectors and to recommend suitable
building regulations for adoption in the areas concerned.

Valuation.

The Consulting Surveyor to Government is the chief expert adviser of Government on the subject and his duties include—.
(1) valuation of agricultural and non-agricultural lands and properties in towns and villages belonging to Government and intended for the purpose of sale or lease;
(2) valuation of Government properties for purposes of rating under the Municipal Act;
(3) valuation for miscellaneous purposes such as Cantonment leases, probate on stamp duty, etc.

(4) valuation for purposes of fixing standard rates of non-agricultural assessment and prescribing zones of values in all villages and rising localities in the vicinity of important and growing towns;
(5) valuation for the purposes of fixing standard table of ground rents and land values in respect of lands in cantonments ;
(6) scrutiny of awards of compensation (if and when received from Government);
(7) supplying trained technical Assistants to act as Special
Land Acquisition Officers in towns where the Land Acquisition work is of a very important and responsible nature ;
(8) giving expert evidence when called upon to do so in the District Courts and the High Court when appeals are lodged against awards of compensation under the Land Acquisition Act; and
(9) undertaking valuation work on behalf of Railways and other departments of Central Government and private bodies with the sanction of Government on payment of fees, etc.

Miscellaneous

(1) To advise the various heads of departments of Government in the selection of sites for public purpose,
(2) To see that all town planning schemes or layout schemessanctioned by Government ate properly executed within a reasonable period or periods stipulated in the schemes.
(3) To advise Government as regards interpretation, amendment or addition to the Bombay Town Planning Act or Rules thereunder.

Organisation

The department was started in 1914 with the Consulting Surveyor to Government as its head who later on was assisted by one Assistant Consulting Surveyor, one Deputy Assistant Consulting Surveyor and two Senior Assistants with the requisite staff. As the activities of the department increased, these Assistants had to be posted at prominent places in the State to meet the prime requisites of town and city planning. There has been a considerable increase in the activities of the department in recent years with the consequential increase in the number of branch offices in the State. The head office of this department is at Poona and the other branch offices are at Bombay, Kolhapur. Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad, Kalyan and Sholapur. Some of the officers have been appointed to function as the Land Acquisition Officers and there are thus two full-time Special Land Acquisition Officers at Poona and one full-time Land Acquisition Officer at Bombay in addition to two part-time Land Acquisition Officers at Bombay and Poona.

The statutory powers regarding planning were embodied under the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915 which was in force so far in the State. This Act has been replaced by the Bombay Town Planning Act. 1954. The new Act generally incorporates the provisions of the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1915 and in addition makes it obligatory on every Local Authority (barring village panchayats) to prepare a development plan for the entire area within its jurisdiction. The development plan aims at the improvement of existing congested gaothan portion of the town and contains proposals in respect of the outlying open areas so as to guide their development on planned basis. The proposals of the development plan can be implemented by the preparation of statutory Town-Planning Schemes. In preparing Town Planning Schemes, the planner can ignore to a great extent the existing plot boundaries. In designing this layout the existing holdings can be reconstituted and made subservient to the plan, and building plots of good shape and frontage can be allotted to owners of lands ill-shaped for building purposes and without access. The cost of a scheme can be recovered from the owners benefited to the extent of 50 per cent of the increase in the value of the land estimated to accrue by the carrying out of the works contemplated in the scheme. When a draft Town Planning Scheme prepared by a Local Authority in consultation with the owners is sanctioned, a Town Planning Officer is appointed. His duties are to hear each owner individually, consider his objections or proposals and make suitable adjustments or amendments in the draft Scheme proposals, if found necessary.

Most of the Local Authorities have no technical staff of their own to prepare the development plans and it has been decided that this department should prepare the development plans on behalf of Local Authorities under the provisions of the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954. Accordingly, a scheme for the preparation. of Development Plan has been introduced in the Second Five-Year Plan.

In the erstwhile Madhya Pradesh region, the Town Planning department was established in 1947 under a State Town Planning Expert with head office at Nagpur. The department functioned under the administrative control of the Local Serf-Government Department of the Madhya Pradesh State. The Central Provinces and Berar Town Planning Act was enacted in 1948 and the Central Provinces and Berar Regulation of Uses of Land Act was also enacted in the same year to provide for the making and execution of Town Planning Schemes and to regulate the development of areas with the object of securing proper sanitary conditions, amenities and convenience to persons living in such areas and in neighbouring areas.

Consequent upon the reorganisation of States that took place on November 1, 1956, a new branch office of this department came into existence at Nagpur for the four districts of Nagpur, Chanda, Wardha and Bhandara. The Deputy Assistant Consulting Surveyor to Government is the head of the above branch office. The making and execution of town planning schemes and the development of the areas is still being regulated under the above two Acts, which are at present in force there. It is proposed to extend the application of the Bombay Town Planning Act, 1954 to the above region replacing the Central Provinces and Berar Town Planning Act, 1948.

The Nagpur Municipal Committee was established in 1864. The Civil Station Sub-Committee was established in 1884.

The Municipal Corporation of Nagpur was constituted with the amalgamation of these two. In 1928, the Municipal Committee passed a resolution for creating an "Improvement Trust" for Nagpur which was established in 1937 under the Nagpur Improvement Trust Act, 1936. This Trust is still working and has collateral jurisdiction over the areas within the limits of the town wherever schemes are prepared by the Trust and approved by the Government. Certain schemes of the Corporation such as underground drainage scheme, schemes for improvement of road junctions are executed by the Trust on behalf of the Corporation. The development of lands-within scheme areas is being carried out by the Trust. The work of the Nagpur Improvement Trust concerning the proposals of Trust lands and fixation of rates of premia for such purposes, zoning and layout regulations is required to he scrutinised by this department on behalf of Government.

Master Plans for the towns of Kamptee and Kalmeshwar from the district have been prepared by this department. A town planning scheme for an area admeasuring about 66.773 hectares (165 acres) at Katol is under preparation in the Nagpur branch office on behalf of the Katol Municipal Committee. A number of layouts, viz., of villages under the village housing project scheme, for Industrial Estate at Nagpur, for rehabilitation of displaced persons, for Harijan Housing and layouts of Nazul lands have been prepared so far.